CodeWeavers on Wednesday announced that its CrossOver technology, which enables Linux users to run Windows applications on their computers, will support Macs once Apple makes the move to Intel processors next year. CrossOver was built on UNIX, as was Mac OS X, but the technology wasnit previously available in the Mac world because it requires Intel chips. Apple currently uses PowerPC chips jointly developed by IBM and Motorola.
CrossOver is based on the open source software WINE (WINE Is Not an Emulator), which runs Windows applications on Linux machines without resorting to emulation. Developers will be able to use CrossOver to port their Windows applications to the Mac more easily, according to CodeWeavers, which also provides porting services. The company also sells CrossOver Office, which Linux users employ to natively run Windows applications -- that software will also be available for Intel-based Macs when they ship.
Currently, running Windows applications on a Mac means using Microsoftis Virtual PC, an emulator that is almost useless for any software that is hardware intensive. However, CodeWeavers said in a statement: "By installing CrossOver Office on Intel-based Macs, many Windows-only applications, including Windows-based games, utilities, and business applications, will operate seamlessly and reliably."
Apple expects to ship the first Intel-based Macs a year from now and will complete the switchover by the end of 2007. The company has not revealed which computers will receive Intel chips first, nor has it publicly supported CrossOver or WINE as a means for Windows developers to get their software onto Macs.